It was not the shot Magazine head coach George Wingo wanted but Laddy Thompson knocked down a 3 point shot with 1:42 to go and buried Johnson County Westside in the process as the Rattlers beat the Rebels 66-57 Friday night at Diamondback Arena.
Magazine led 61-55 after Westside’s Andrew Estep hit one of two free throws after he had stolen the ball from Thompson following a missed free throw by Trey Holt.
With the Rattlers in the bonus Wingo wanted to work clock, Thompson was wide open on the baseline so he took the shot and hit it to make it 64-55. It was Thompson’s only points of the night.
It wasn’t the last time Wingo didn’t want a shot taken, or the last time it worked out for the Rattlers, who won for only the second time this season and the first time in Conference 2A-4 play.
With 38 seconds left Lucas Young took a pass in the lane and put the ball in the basket to make it and 11-point game completing a comeback from a 12-point first half deficit.
Westside led 20-8 after a basket by Holt made it 20-8 lead early in the second quarter. Donovan Shelton responded with 3s on the next two trips and the Rattlers were back within 20-14.
Shelton was on his way to a seven 3 point and 25 total points to lead the Rattlers.
Westside stretched it to 29-17 with 4:21 left in the first half but the Rattlers trimmed it to 30-27 behind a pair of 3s from James Lovell – Magazine hit 11 bonus shots on the night before a free throw by Holt made it 31-27 at the half.
Shelton started the second half with the first five Rattler points and after Lovell scored next five for Magazine the Rattlers were in front 36-35.
Westside took what would be its last lead on a bucket by Derrick McKee but Shelton’s 3 with 3:10 left in the quarter put Magazine up 39-37.
A conventional 3-point play by Cody Cherry gave Magazine a five point cushion. Cherry, who scored 13, scored again before the quarter break to make it 46-43 and the Rattlers led after three for only the third time this season.
Estep cut it back to 1 and Austin Hayes did so again in the first minute of the final quarter but Shelton hit a pair of 3s and it was 52-48.
Magazine kept between a two and five point lead until Shelton hit his seventh 3 to make it 61-53 with 3:02 to but Cherry missed the front end of a one-and-one then fouled out on the other end of the floor and Westside managed single free throws six seconds apart to make it 61-55.
Lady Rattlers 48
Fouled shooting a 3 with 4.1 seconds to play in the third quarter, Heather Bryan hit two of three free throws and Magazine was within 36-29 to start the fourth.
That percentage of free throw shooting in the final quarter might have meant a win. Instead the 6-of-15 at the line in the final quarter spelled disaster.
If that weren’t enough head coach Randy Bryan’s team struggled almost everywhere on the floor.
Madison Cotton hit a 3 to make it 36-33 with 6:15 to go but the Lady Rattlers didn’t score again from the field until Cotton scored at the 4:02 mark to make it 39-37.
Again, it was Cotton who ended a drought from the floor, scoring with 1:41 to go to make it 44-41. Cotton finished with 12 points.
A 3 by Marlee Step gave the Lady Rebels a 47-41 lead 11 second later and Westside won it at the free throw line, despite having four different players hit one of two in the final minute.
Step led all players with 19 and Hailee Weathers and Breanna McCormick both scored 12 for Westside.
A conventional 3-point play by Adrianna Thomas, who led the Lady Rattlers with 15, would cut it to two possessions at 51-45 with 7.8 second to go but it was a 7-point game when Brittney Bryan hit a 3 at the buzzer.
That gave Bryan a double-double with 12 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
Lady Rattlers 49
Union Christian 47
Magazine used a 31-point second half to escape the Lady Eagles Tuesday night in Fort Smith.
Magazine was down 27-18 when the second half began but Heather Bryan and Brittany Bryan scored five points apiece in the third quarter and with four from Adrianna Thomas the Lady Rattlers had pulled ahead 35-34.
Thomas completed her team high 15 point night with four points in the final quarter and Tierra Phillips scored all five of her points in the game in the final eight minutes as the Lady Rattlers held off the Lady Eagles.
Magazine was down 12-6 after one with all of their point coming on 3s by Heather Bryan, who finished with eight, and Madison Cotton.
Thomas scored seven second quarter points and Sarah Travis added a 3.
Union Christian 75
Union outscored the Rattlers in every quarter and pulled away.
Jason Lovell, who led Magazine with 18, hit a pair of 3s but Union led 21-16. Austin Phillips hit a twice from beyond the arc – Keith Dority hit another as Magazine had seven on the night – but it was a 46-31 game at the half.
Lovell scored eight third quarter points and Cherry added five of his nine in the frame. Laddy Thompson scored six in the final quarter.